With the proliferation of social media platforms, it’s easy to sign up for every service to expand your digital reach. However, attempting to participate in all social media channels can actually hurt your school’s digital marketing strategy. To avoid this problem, use the following factors to find the right channels for your specific institution.
Examine Your Existing Efforts
Make a list of the social media channels you currently use to promote your school and to connect with current and potential students. How many are on the list? Which ones offer the most user engagement and return-on-investment (ROI)?
Look at the number of followers or friends on each channel and evaluate the last few months of activity. Talk to the people you put in charge of social media to find out which platforms they enjoy using most.
It’s important to understand how well (or how poorly) your current digital marketing strategy is working. From there, you can add or subtract to meet your needs and refine your goals.
Determine How Much and What Type of Information You Share
Every school communicates differently. Some prefer to post photographs with short captions to engage their audiences visually. In this case, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram might be the best social media channel for your school. Others like to post text-heavy news snippets or conversation starters, in which case Facebook or Google Plus might serve your needs more thoroughly.
You don’t have to select a one-size-fits-all solution. Maybe you like to share an equal mix of photos and short text posts. In this case, maybe you could have a Twitter presence as well as an Instagram account. Just make sure you can spare the staff and time necessary to run two or more channels effectively.
Find Your Audience
Where do current and prospective students hang out? The answer might be different for a technology school than for a liberal arts college. Research the different platforms to determine which qualities draw different types of students. This information can prove invaluable as you attempt to engage your audience.
Don’t be afraid to adjust your digital marketing strategy, either. You might spend six months developing your Facebook feed, then realize that you’re getting more engagement on Twitter. Don’t try to force the social media channel to fit your needs. Instead, follow the traffic patterns and activity levels organically.
Evaluate the Time Requirements
Some social media channels require more time and energy than others to maintain. Determine how many staff members you need for each channel and how much time each must spend on the channel every day. You might find that some platforms consume too many man hours. In this case, it’s better to go with a more user-friendly solution.
Selecting the right social media channels for your school’s digital marketing strategy can make a world of difference. To learn more about higher education marketing options, contact us today!